Ambigram, Higgs, and Feynman rules

An ambigram is a typographical design or art form that may be read as one or more words not only in its form as presented, but also from another viewpoint, direction, or orientation. The words readable in the other viewpoint, direction or orientation may be the same or different from the original words. Douglas R. Hofstadter describes an ambigram as a “calligraphic design that manages to squeeze two different readings into the selfsame set of curves.” Different ambigram artists (sometimes called ambigramists) may create completely different ambigrams from the same word or words, differing in both style and form. See: Ambigram

Wave-particle.jpg. Modifications made by Seahen. Perceptual shift ambigram by Douglas Hofstadter as play on the Wave–particle duality of light

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Higgs and the vacuum: Viva la “vev”

Wave-particle duality is one of those well-known buzz words of quantum mechanics. Is light a particle or a wave? Is an electron a particle or a wave? If these things are waves, then what are they waves of?


In high energy physics we’re usually interested in small things that move very quickly, so we use the framework of quantum field theory (QFT) which is the marriage of quantum mechanics (which describes “small” things) and special relativity (which describes “fast” things). The quantum ‘waves’ are waves in the quantum field associated with a particle. The loose interpretation of the field is the probability that you might find a particle there. See Also:An Idiosyncratic Introduction to the Higgs and A diagrammatic hint of masses from the Higgs

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The Higgs Mechanism
source: CERN


To understand the Higgs mechanism, imagine that a room full of physicists chattering quietly is like space filled with the Higgs field …


… a well-known scientist walks in, creating a disturbance as he moves across the room and attracting a cluster of admirers with each step …


… this increases his resistance to movement, in other words, he acquires mass, just like a particle moving through the Higgs field…


… if a rumor crosses the room, …


… it creates the same kind of clustering, but this time among the scientists themselves. In this analogy, these clusters are the Higgs particles.

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